Sunday, April 30, 2017

Marketing to Millennials: Why Your Content Should Reflect Your Values

Millennials: everyone is talking about them and they seem to be the “Holy Grail” of the marketing world.
The millennial generation is often clumped into one, with assumptions that they are tech-savvy, self-absorbed, and overburdened with student debt. While this may be true for some of this group’s members, generalizing Gen Y negatively can cause businesses to miss out on this powerful demographic.
Millennials are a diverse group of individuals born between 1982 and 2000. Some remember a time before having the internet at home, and others can’t imagine life before Facebook.
Still, there are common characteristics that all millennials share that can be utilized to create an efficient marketing campaign. One such commonality is that millennials are overburdened with student debt. Close to 63 percent of millennials are expected to hold a Bachelor’s degree, and those don’t come cheap for the majority of students. The national student debt counter in the United States has long exceeded the $1 trillion mark, and is constantly growing.
Another similarity within Gen Y is their use of social media. According to 2014 numbers collected on millennial social media and internet use, 93 percent of millennials access the internet and use some form of a social media account. This means marketing to millennials should be easy, as social media campaigns that focus on data will provide companies with all the information they need to know about millennial customers; from what they buy to what they’re saying about brands or products.
This is huge news for marketers, and further underscores the importance of reaching the millennial generation. They may be struggling with debt, but evidence suggests that millennials still spend money with companies that they have grown to love.
Why? Because these companies have unique characteristics that make them stand out to the millennial market.
The key takeaway from these companies? Focus on the content of your message. Don’t just reach out to this group with emoji and memes. Instead, engage them where it matters most. Looking at the latest marketing trends, Rutgers University’s MBA program explained: “There has been a major influx amongst marketers to not only create content, but create content that is deemed both important and shareable… When users come across such content, they are far more likely to share it as it speaks to them on an emotional or intellectual level.”
Bonus: Download a free guide that reveals how to increase social media engagement with better audience research, sharper customer targeting, and Hootsuite’s easy-to-use social media software.
Here are some of the powerful ways marketers can reach millennials through their social media campaign.

3 keys to successful millennial marketing

Demonstrate that your brand cares about sustainability

Millennials are often assumed to be self-absorbed, but this is a huge misconception. Due to millennials’ consistent use of social media, they are frequently exposed to views and opinions that are not their own. This has led to what some researchers are deeming “a new form of empathy.” It goes to show that millennials care just as much about others across the world as they do about themselves.
A survey performed in 2014 by the Nielsen Global Survey Group found that millennials were the demographic most concerned about social responsibility. They explained: “[Millennials] represent 51 percent of [respondents across generations] who will pay extra for sustainable products and 51 percent of those who check the packaging for sustainable labeling.” Some have even argued that millennials are changing the way companies brand themselves.
So how does this translate to an online social media campaign? Follow the lead of some of the most successful companies that have focused on these key factors that concern millennials.
Patagonia is one group that has resonated with millennials through their “Don’t Buy This Jacket” campaign in 2011. Their message relied on the durability of their jackets and how infrequently customers should have to replace it. Their focus was on sustainable production and design, and—despite the message—sales for Patagonia improved 30 percent in 2012, and have continued to grow every year since.

Give back to the community

Companies that share their message of giving back to the community don’t just make the employees feel better about the company; they make the consumer feel better about their purchases too.
Businesses that build an online marketing strategy that shows how much they care for humans around the world can match the “new empathy” of millennials. One brand that has skyrocketed into success with this idea is Toms shoes.
Tom’s One for One Campaign was an instant hit when it was announced in 2006, and has since grown to encompass shoes, glasses, water, bully-prevention, and female reproductive health. Millennials and others were struck by the simple message and the ability to help others simply by purchasing stylish shoes for themselves.
Other companies such as Dove Soaps have seen a spike in sales due to millennial investment. When Dove released their “Real Beauty” campaign in 2014, it was an instant hit online. It proved to be a worthy cause as Dove saw a steady increase in sales over the next couple of years.
Businesses can learn from these examples and find ways to work similar messages into their own social media strategies. When creating content, find ways to include your company’s social responsibility campaign; from a new recycling program, to a new partnership with the Humane Society of America, or whatever you company’s chosen cause may be.
Also, if you don’t have a corporate social responsibility plan set-up, reach out to your followers on Twitter for ideas on where to get started. Be sure to get creative, and form partnerships with other companies that share your idea of what you want to do for your community.
Of course, millennials also love humor and lightheartedness, so be sure to keep your messages varied. You never want to overdo one over the other, but instead find a balance between sales, memes, and company messages.

Remember that honesty is the best policy

Millennials aren’t just swayed by green energy and activism. Gen Y also cares deeply about honesty and brand integrity. As many marketers and millennials have noted, this generation craves transparency and authenticity. They will only give attention to campaigns that are honest and engage with them, that show them what happens behind the scenes and not just flashy ads. This can be seen in company branding, the job market, and even in politics.
Honest and truthful marketing campaigns are often the most powerful for reaching swaths of people, not just millennials. When companies take the opportunity to be honest about mistakes and provide transparency for their consumers, they often see benefits, particularly in their brand image.
Business writer Adeline Teoh explained the appeal of honest marketing: “People often joke that ‘truth in advertising’ is an oxymoron but truth does its own marketing for values such as honesty, integrity, and trustworthiness. Marketing isn’t just about persuading people that your business is ‘the best’—it’s about making your business memorable.”
In a world where information can be spread rapidly through social media, mistakes can be impossible to erase. Staying true to your company’s message and proving that you have the ability to learn from your mistakes will no doubt win you favor among Gen Y and improve your business.

The key takeaways

There’s a lot to take away here, but some of the most essential points are:
  • Millennials may be in a lot of debt, but that doesn’t mean you should discount them in marketing campaigns.
  • Don’t pander with emoji and memes. Do your best to show Millennials how you are making a difference. Include humor as well as genuinely heartwarming and inspiring content.
  • Millennials have formed a new type of empathy. They’re not as self-absorbed as many people often think. They care about the environment and helping others.
  • Millennials are forcing the hand of many industries by choosing to purchase from brands that demonstrate social and environmental responsibility, even if it means a higher price point.
  • Honest and truthful marketing campaigns will not just win over millennials, but are better for your business in the long run.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Sex and business among medieval Cairo’s Jews go on display at Cambridge New exhibit showcases dozens of fragments, some newly translated, that tell the story of ordinary folks living under Islam in the Middle Ages

A child’s alphabet and doodles, circa 1000 years old, from the Cairo Geniza, part of the Discarded History: The Genizah of Medieval Cairo exhibit on display from April 27, 2017 (Cambridge University)

‘Long pepper, galanga, ginger and aristolochia, an ounce of each, cinnamon and anise, two ounces of each, clove, mace and nutmeg, one quarter ounce of each.” These exotic ingredients are not only intended to spice up a dish, but also a man’s sex life.

The aphrodisiac recipe, intended for the nephew of Saladin, the Sultan Omar, was part of Judeo-Arabic draft scrawled by Maimonides in the 12th century that was found in Cairo. It’s one of several dozen fragments of texts from the Cairo Geniza featured in an exhibit opening Thursday at Cambridge University.

The university is home to the bulk of thousands of fragments found in the geniza — a depository of discarded sacred texts — at the end of the 19th century that document a millennium of Jewish life in the Egyptian metropolis. “Discarded History: The Genizah of Medieval Cairo” is one of the largest collections of fragments to ever go on display, Cambridge University said, and sets out to tell the “lost history” of ordinary Jews.

The 50 or 60 fragments going on display for the next six months offer visitors a personal and first-hand glimpse of history through the lives of Jews — ordinary folks — in medieval Cairo. They deal with marriage, death, love, business, and sex.

A prenuptial contract from the Cairo Geniza, part of the Discarded History: The Genizah of Medieval Cairo exhibit on display from April 27, 2017 (Cambridge University)

The collection known as the Cairo Geniza comprises an estimated 320,000 fragments of parchment and paper that were discarded over the centuries by the Jewish community, including religious texts, contracts, recipes, magic amulets, and letters. Some were translated into English for the exhibit for the first time.

According to Jewish law, documents that bear the name of God cannot be destroyed. Instead, the Jewish community stuffed papers and parchments through a hole in the wall of the women’s section of the Ben Ezra synagogue in the Fustat district. Egypt’s arid climate helped preserve the trove of documents in the small room on the other side of the hole until they came to the attention of European scholars at the turn of the 20th century.

Among the highlights of the exhibit are the scratchings of a young student first learning the Hebrew alphabet, with doodles in the margin; an 11th-century prenuptial agreement requiring an unruly would-be groom to curtail his future behavior; letters and treatises written in Maimonides’ hand; and one of the earliest known examples of an engagement deed, from the 12th century, ensuring brides-to-be wouldn’t be locked into a dormant marriage if their husband disappeared while traveling overseas.

The oldest dated medieval Hebrew manuscript, from Iran at the beginning of the 10th century, part of the Discarded History: The Genizah of Medieval Cairo exhibit on display from April 27, 2017 (Cambridge University)

The aim of the exhibit was to show visitors the rich tapestry of Jewish life in the Middle Ages, when the vast majority of the world’s Jewish population lived under Islam, Ben Outhwaite, head of the Genizah Research Unit and co-curator of the exhibition, told The Times of Israel.

He said it was a challenge to select items from the “colossal material” at the university’s disposal and present it in a compelling way to a general audience.

“We didn’t want to paint either a picture of a happy interfaith utopia, where Jews lived happily under Islam and there were no problems; on the other hand we don’t want to paint the picture that is popular with some of the right wing press in this country, for instance, of dhimmi suffering under the oppression of the cruel Muslim government,” he said.

“It would be a mistake to impose a simple narrative,” Outhwaite said.

Both instances might have been true at different periods and places, but it was up to visitors to decide by seeing the life of Cairene Jews in their own words.

Discarded History: The Genizah of Medieval Cairo is open to the public at Cambridge University Library through October 28, 2017.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Quick Tips to Up Your Instagram Game

You know the feeling. You’ve spent thoughtful, planned time snapping the perfect picture, applying precisely the right filter, and crafting a caption to make even Hemingway swoon. You hit post and wait for the likes and comments to light up your screen. But an hour later you find the response to your opus is underwhelming. What went wrong?

The thing is that you can indeed take a great shot and create some well-thought-out wording to caption it, but there are a few simple tips to consider with your posting habits on Instagram to get a bigger piece of that engagement pie and the app’s more than 500 million users. And it doesn’t have take a lot of time or effort for you to get all of the likes.
1. Save relevant hashtags to quickly paste into your posts
Hashtags separate content on Instagram into categories. So when you use hashtags properly, users interested in what your brand is all about can find you before they’ve heard of you. For example, if you’re opening a new coffee shop in Vancouver in two months called Bean There, Done That, chances are people won’t be searching #BeanThereDoneThat. But if you use hashtags like #YVRcoffee or #VancouverCoffee, fellow coffee junkies are more likely to scroll upon you.
Investigate before you hashtag by using the Tags category in Instagram’s search. It allows you to see how many people have used a hashtag and those related to it. While you might think #YVRbeans is clever and useful, a quick search shows that (as of today) it has only been used twice. On the other hand, using #coffeejunkie means your post has over 55,000 other posts to compete with. Try experimenting with different combinations to see what works for you.
You can also find trending hashtags relevant to your posts with Hootsuite’s Trendspottr app.
Once you have a set of Instagram hashtags that are relevant to your brand, you can save them in your phone—in Notes if you use an iOS device, for example—for quick copying and pasting into future Instagram posts.

2. Hide your hashtags to unclutter your captions

With Instagram’s October 2015 update, you can use up to 30 hashtags in a post and hide all of them so that your existing followers don’t have to look at that visual mess and users searching that hashtag can still find your posts. There are two ways to do this:
Method No. 1: Once you’ve captioned your post, leave a comment on it using your hashtags. The hashtags will all be hidden once a few more comments are made.
Method No. 2: Alternatively, if you’re building up your following and aren’t getting enough comments to hide the hashtags, you can bury them under periods separated by line breaks. In the caption or comment box, tap the 123 key. Select return and then enter a period. Repeat those steps at least five times. Comments are hidden after three lines, so by repeating this five times (or more) and then entering all your hashtags, users won’t see them.
For more Instagram hashtag tips and tricks, read The Complete Instagram Hashtag Guide for Business.

3. Share your Instagram posts on other networks

Instagram is one of the biggest stars in the social media space, but you’ll miss connecting with all of the potential customers out there if you use Instagram and Instagram only. By publishing your posts to Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks, you can see huge gains in engagement. On Facebook, posts with images have the second highest engagement and posts made with Instagram increase engagement by 23 percent.
It might sound daunting to wrangle all your socials together to be streamlined with Instagram, but there are a few simple things you can do to make it easy. Instagram gives you the option to link your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flicker, and Swarm accounts directly to the app. Before you publish your post, simply toggle the accounts that you’d like to share said post with.
Keep in mind that not all users tagged in your comments or caption will have the same username across other platforms and in turn, you might not notify who you intend to notify or might not notify anyone at all.
The other simple way to do this is on the Hootsuite dashboard. Learn how to add to Instagram to Hootsuite and start scheduling posts and sharing them across multiple social networks.

4. Only post at the most optimal times

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody’s around to hear it, it doesn’t make a sound. Similarly, if you post at a time when nobody is scrolling, you’re not going to reach anyone. Know your audience and post when they’re using Instagram. While there is no secret formula for timing, there are some general recommendations to use as a guide:
  • Hubspot: Anytime from Monday to Thursday except from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Latergramme: Wednesday at 5 p.m.
  • Weekdays between 6 a.m. and 12 p.m.
Of course, you don’t have to wait for the clock to strike five to manually upload your content. Compose and schedule your posts on Instagram by publishing through Hootsuite.
Learn how to get even more out of Hootsuite with free social media training from Hootsuite Academy.

5. Not enough original content? Regram

In the old days, reposting someone else’s photo on Instagram—regramming—meant taking a screen capture of the photo on your feed, reposting it to your own feed, copying the original caption, and then tagging the original user who shared it. Luckily, it’s much easier than that now. Sharing content posted by your followers, accounts you follow, and other relevant Instagram users is an effective way to increase your visibility and engage your online community.
Make sure you brush up on your regramming etiquette before diving in. There are some simple dos and don’ts to follow, like getting permission and crediting the original account so that everyone benefits.

6. Create and post compelling video in no time with Boomerang

Video brings a whole new dimension to your Insta game and visual identity that, if done well, can engage your audience in a way stills can’t. Video used to be something left to the experts, but now that Instagram has added Boomerang and extended its maximum video length to 60 seconds, your video can range from GIF-like ease to short-film complexity, without taking too much time to produce.
With Boomerang, you can record video burst of up to 20 frames. The built-in app then speeds them and up loops them beginning to end and end to beginning—creating a fun, fast-forward-rewind effect. Like video posts, Boomerang has a Views counter so you can track how many people are watching and adjust your content creation strategy accordingly.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Guide To Tracking Social Media In Google Analytics

Imagen de Blue Fountain Media bajo licencia CC BY 2.0

Your website is the cornerstone of your business’ online presence. Alongside your website is its helpful sister, social media. Your social media and website presence should be integrated with one another in order to continuously drive traffic to your online assets. And with social media driving traffic to your site, the next step is measuring your efforts so you can improve. As always, this is where Google Analytics comes handy.

Google Analytics provides you with data to see where your website visitors come from and understand your visitors’ behavior on your site. Additionally, when you setup your Google Analytics account to track and measure your social media initiatives, you’ll then be able to adequately prove the ROI of social media for your business.

To get you started, we’ve put together this guide to tracking social media in Google Analytics in 6 easy steps.

Step 1: Create social media objectives and goals for your website

Before you can begin tracking your social media initiatives in Google Analytics you need to create social media objectives and goals. These objectives and goals should be part of your overall social media marketing plan and should be aligned with your broader marketing and business strategy. If your objective is to use social media to increase website traffic, then create S.M.A.R.T. goals that will help you achieve that objective.

For example: To increase website traffic by 15% in Q2, 100 Tweets a month will be dedicated to driving traffic to the website.

Step 2: Sign up for Google Analytics

This step is extremely important if you want to track social media in Google Analytics. It’s important that you have a Google Analytics account to access your website traffic reports. Create a new Google Analytics account, if you don’t have one. Visit, click Sign in to Google Analytics or Create an account button on the top right hand corner, and follow the on-screen instructions.

Step 3: Setup your Google Analytics tracking code

In order to gather website data from Google Analytics you need to first setup your tracking code. There are two ways to collect page tracking data: Google Tag Manager or by adding the tracking code directly to your site.

1) Google Tag Manager

This approach is recommended because using Google Tag Manager simplifies tag management on your site. It makes it easier to add other tags, such as AdWords Conversion Tracking and remarketing tags, to your site and configure Google Analytics tracking. Follow the steps in the video below to setup Google Tag Manager.

2) Adding the tracking code directly to your site

In order to do this you first must have access to your website’s source code and be comfortable editing HTML.

To set up the web tracking code:
Sign in to your Google Analytics account, select the Admin tab. From the Account and property columns, select the property you’re working with. Click Tracking Info > Tracking code.

Copy the snippet. It starts with <script> and ends with </script>. Make sure to not reuse the same tracking code snippet on multiple domains.
Paste your snippet into every webpage you want to track, and paste it before the closing </head> tag.
Check your setup to make sure the code shown in Google Analytics is the same that is on your website’s source code.

Step 4: Setup Google Analytics Goals

Tracking the true effectiveness of social media for your business goes beyond pageviews and visits. Finding out if social media actually helps your business is more important if you’re trying to prove the ROI of social media. Knowing important metrics like: product sign ups, leads, downloads, and newsletter signups, will help you solidify the importance of social media for your business.

To create Goals follow these steps by Google Analytics.
Step 5: Understanding Social Analytics Reports

There are 8 Social Analytics reports available in Google Analytics. These reports will help you understand the impact and effectiveness of your social media initiatives. You can find these reports under the Reporting tab > Acquisition > Social.

1) Overview report

This report allows you to see a glance into how much conversion value is generated from social channels. The social value graph compares the number and monetary value of all goal completions versus those that are from social referrals.

2) Network referrals

This report will provide you with engagement metrics for traffic from each social network. It will show you which social networks referred the highest quality traffic.

3) Data Hub Activity

The Data Hub Activity report shows you how people are talking about and engaging with your site content on social networks. You’ll be able to see the most recent URLs people shared, how they shared it, and what they said.

4) Landing pages

This report allows you to see engagement metrics for each URL. Each URL will show you the originating social networks for that URL.

5) Trackbacks

In this report you’ll be able to know which sites are linking to your content, and in which context. You can use this data to replicate successful content and build relationships with those who frequently link to your site.

6) Conversions

This report is the report where you can really quantify the value of social media for your business. The Conversions report will show the total number of conversions and the monetary value of conversions that occurred as a result of referrals from each network. Note: Step 4 must be completed in order for this report to be populated with data.

7) Plugins

If you have social share buttons on your site it’s important to understand which buttons are being clicked on and for which content. This report provides you with the data necessary to know which articles are most commonly shared, and from which social networks they’re being shared on.

8) Users flow

The Users Flow reports shows the initial paths that users from social networks took through your site. If you run campaigns that promote specific products, you can see whether users from each social network entered your site through a product page and whether or not they continued to other parts of your website.

Step 6: Reporting on the data from these reports

Now that you have the data that you need to showcase how your social media initiatives is driving traffic to your website; compile the necessary data and present it to your boss in either a PowerPoint or Google Presentation. Make sure to only include the data that aligns back to the goals you initially created in Step 1. Your presentation should include graphs and 2-3 sentences explaining what each graph means to your business.

For example, if you want to show how social media is doing in driving traffic to your website you can create a graph that compares it to other source channels, like the graph below, then talk about how owned and organic social channels are driving the most traffic to your website.

We hope this 6 step guide to tracking social media in Google Analytics helps gets you started on the right track to proving social media ROI. Just remember to always be: tracking, measuring, analyzing, and improving, in order to constantly improve your business’s online assets.

Social Media ROI 101 A Comprehensive Guide

Measuring the return on your social media investment is no longer optional.
To secure ongoing executive buy-in and budget for your social marketing strategies you need to demonstrate how your efforts are contributing to the business’ goals.
Maturing from an experiment to a core business strategy, social media is now an impactful marketing channel that needs to compete against other channels—for budget, resources, and respect. This means that social, like other channels, has to prove its return on investment (ROI).
But beyond proving the impact on your organization, measuring and tracking social media return on investment also lets marketers dedicate more time and resources into what’s working, and improve the tactics that aren’t delivering real value.

Table of contents

What is social media ROI?

Why measuring social media ROI is important

How to set social media goals to prove ROI

How to measure your ROI

Social media ROI tools

How to report your social media ROI

Next steps: Make adjustmentsWhat is social media ROI?

Social media ROI is what your organization gets out of its social marketing efforts. After all the time, money, and effort put in—what’s the output? Ideally this would be measured in dollars.
A simple formula for social media ROI might look like this:
Money generated via social media – investment (people hours, ad budget, etc.) = social media ROI
Like any formula, the math is easy if you have all the variables. But what if your variables aren’t easily quantifiable? As social media marketers know, the success of a campaign is not always measurable in terms of hard numbers.
To account for this, in his book “Social Media ROI: Managing and Measuring Social Media Efforts in Your Organization” author Oliver Blanchard explains that non-financial outcomes can “tell the story by capturing changes in human behavior.”
What kinds of things did your target audience do after exposure to your campaign? Did these actions align with your goals? Where did they fall short? How can they be improved for next time?
If you need another way to consider your social media ROI, think about the ratio between gain and cost, which includes things such as:
  • Labor
  • Training
  • Development
  • Social media technology
  • Agencies and consultants
  • Social media advertising budget
  • Business overhead

For estimating the gain from certain consumer actions (purchases, page views, downloads, email list signups, etc.) you need to look to analytics to determine which conversion events can be attributed to social media. This helps you define your social media ROI and prove the value to your organization and brand.

Why measuring ROI is important

Talk is cheap, so while you could tell your stakeholders or clients about the value of social media campaigns and why they need dedicated resources, nothing will convince them more than being able to actually show results through ROI.
Everything is taken more seriously when there are measurable and specific outcomes, and this is especially true for social media ROI.
Measuring your social media ROI is important for many reasons, including, but not limited to:
  • Proving the value of social media to your organization’s overall goals and business objectives
  • Showing where your efforts and resources are being used efficiently
  • Helping you determine where resources are being wasted, or used inefficiently
  • Allowing you to recognize gaps in strategy, key messages, and content

How to set social media goals to prove ROI

Now that you know what social media ROI is and why it’s crucial for your business, it’s important to set some goals.
As mentioned above, before you’re able to measure your social media ROI, you need to know what metrics you are actually measuring.
When pitching your boss and trying to get buy-in, the key is to set social media goals that complement existing business and departmental goals.
If you have set a specific number of leads you’re trying to attain this quarter, set the number of leads you want to be driven via social media.
If one of your goals is to increase landing page conversion by 10 percent, ensure that you’re tracking the conversion rate of people who land on the page through social channels.
Audit your existing social media performance to establish baseline targets, then set appropriate goals for improvement.
The brand awareness created by social media—seen in vanity metrics including likes and retweets—is valuable, but not enough. According to Altimeter, only 34 percent of organizations feel that their social strategy is connected to business outcomes. To demonstrate social media’s value, you need to measure social media ROI as it relates to your broader business goals.
Key examples of social media metrics to track include:
  • Reach
  • Site traffic
  • Leads generated
  • Sign-ups and conversions
  • Revenue generated
It’s important for social data to be relevant to stakeholders within your organization, not just social media practitioners. Tying social media to the big picture by linking it to organizational and departmental goals will help you achieve that.
If you need some help determining goals, we recommend using the S.M.A.R.T goal framework. Explained in more detail through our piece Don’t Just Create Social Media Goals—Reach Them, you want to ensure that the goals you are setting are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.
For example, rather than simply saying that you want to increase your engagement, set a numerical value and a deadline for this, such as aiming to have 50 customer interactions per week by the end of your first quarter.
As outlined in our post 7 Social Media Metrics that Really Matter—and How to Track Them, the following are specific social media goals, and the metrics to measure for each, to get you on the right track with your social ROI efforts.

Goal No. 1: Increase social media engagement

  • Basic social media metrics to measure: likes, shares, comments, retweets, mentions, and favorites
  • Advanced social media metrics to measure: Bounce rate, social share of voice, amplification rate, and applause rate

Goal No. 2: Increase customer acquisition on your website

  • Basic social media metrics to measure: URL clicks and traffic from social media
  • Advanced social media metrics to measure: Share of traffic driven and leads generated

Goal No. 3: Increase brand awareness

  • Social media metrics to measure: Follower growth rate, percentage change over time in followers, Twitter sentiment, reach by region and clicks by region
  • Advanced social media metric to measure: Conversation rate

How to measure your ROI

While it’s great to set social media goals and act on them, your job isn’t done until you’ve proven the value of your efforts, which is a challenge for many social media and content marketers.
According to the CMO Survey, social media spending increased 234 percent from 2009 to 2017, accounting for 11.7 percent of total marketing budgets. Still, only 20.3 percent of marketers say they are able to prove the impact quantitatively.
  • 56 percent—an inability to tie social media to business outcomes
  • 39 percent—a lack of analytics, expertise and/or resources
  • 38 percent—poor tools
  • 35 percent—inconsistent analytical approaches
  • 30 percent—unreliable data

While it may seem difficult to prove these hesitations wrong, there are several tools available to help you.

Social media ROI tools

Once you’ve established your social media goals, you’ll need the right tools and tactics for measuring results. Here are a few of the best:
Google Analytics: Track website traffic, on-site conversions, and sign-ups originating from social media campaigns.
Hootsuite Analytics: Hootsuite offers a variety of analytics tools to help you track your reach, conversions, and more. A few noteworthy examples are:
  • Hootsuite Insights will help you identify conversations within your industry, your reach, brand sentiment, and much more, with 100 million data sources, real-time results, and an intuitive interface.
  • Custom URL parameters allows you to track which social networks and social messaging did or did not drive traffic to your site, blog, or landing page.
  • Hootsuite Analytics Reports offer quick snapshots of your reach through metrics like follower growth, total daily URL click-through, and per-post stats for Facebook, Twitter, and more.
LiftMetrix: Designed to help organizations understand the revenue impact of owned, earned, and paid media social media strategies. A few ways they do this:
  • ROI dashboards allows large teams to easily create different views based on job roles and departments. Measure the full social conversion funnel—end-to-end ROI measurement of true business metrics like purchases, sign-ups, email acquisition, and more.
  • Daily recommendations provides easy-to-understand content recommendations and insight.
  • Content theme analysis allows you to filter and measure which content themes perform best across all of your posts from Hootsuite.
  • Competitor analysis keeps your finger on the pulse. Know what your competitors are doing and saying on social media and how they are achieving success.

How to report your social media ROI

Once you’ve set your goals and chosen your social media analytics tools, it’s time to actually track your social media ROI.
The ability to track should be built into everything you do on social media, so you’re never left scrambling to try and prove the success of a campaign.
Best practices for reporting:
  • Use templatesCreating analytics templates will allow you to track your desired metrics without having to build out custom reports for each campaign. These reports will also present the data in a digestible way, allowing you to simply and effectively share your ROI on social media with higher ups in the organization.
  • Check your metrics daily—You should check your various social media metrics frequently to ensure that your social media goals are being met. The lifecycle of a social media campaign is often very short, so you need to stay on top of the data as it happens.
  • Stick to a timeframe—Choose a timeframe that works for you, and stick to it. You can often have reports sent to your email inbox on specific days of the week so you don’t even have to remember to pull reports yourself.

Next steps: Make adjustments

Once you’ve identified what works and what doesn’t work for your organization on social, it’s time to adjust your strategy. The point of tracking your social media ROI isn’t just to prove your social campaigns are valuable, it’s to increase their value over time.
Go back and take a look at the goals of your specific campaign and evaluate how they tie into the organization’s overall goals.
Due to the short lifecycle of social media campaigns, a failing campaign should be changed and improved as soon as possible. Social media is never static.
To meet your social media ROI goals, you’ll need to update and adapt your strategy constantly. Take into account the analytics data you’re tracking. Think about whether your data needs adjusting after calculating your first round of social media ROI, and get back to the drawing board if necessary.
The setting of business goals and calculating your social media ROI is not going to be a black and white, one-time event, but rather an always-evolving process.
Measuring social media ROI gives your organization valuable insight into the success of current and past campaigns, and what might work in the future.